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Thread: AMD Intentionally Crippled Their HDMI Adapters

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brane215 View Post
    Article is quite shallow or borderline stupid.

    Who would use elcheapo, trivially copiable serial eeprom to lock you into anything ?

    It is obvious it is there for some other reasons. Like to differentiate interfaces with decent enough signal integrity or to signal to PC to send the audio ( someone mentioned EDID) etc etc.
    Exactly...if AMD was really nasty they could use a uC from MicroChip or Atmel for example, send a encrypted query to the DVI->HDMI adapter and the uC would had to answer with some encrypted stuff...we all know that it could be hacked anyway sooner or latter but that's not the point...the point is that if they used something like a uC instead of a simple E2PROM, that would be a clear sign that something fishy was happening and a possible lock against 3rd party adapters for who knows why....

  2. #32
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    one of the many reasons I have to hate apple


    I was once given a ipod power adaptor ($26)

    opened the box: "hmm where's the cable??"


    in small print, not outside the box but in the leaflet

    " a ipod firewire cable is required, sold separetely"

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    Wait, I don't get it... So if you have a monitor that only has HDMI, and you have a card that doesn't have any HDMI slots, and you have the ATI DVI in-HDMI out adapter, then you can get audio over the DVI slot? Just how often does such a situation occur?.. And how many "cheap" DVI in-HDMI out adapters even support audio over DVI, given that it's not exactly standard and that not a whole lot of graphics cards support such a thing to begin with? In fact, if a card has no HDMI slots, why would it have an integrated sound card to begin with?..
    DVI, by spec, can carry audio signals, though no one ever really bothered to implement this in their products. AMD basically piggybacked this when outputting audio over a DVI->HDMI connection.

    As for cards, I can say their 4000 series cards typically didn't offer HDMI outputs (my 4890 didn't), so I used this same exact configuration. And yes, you HAD to use an AMD adapter; Windows wouldn't recognize the audio interface if you didn't.

    Coincidentally, when I upgraded to a 570 GTX, NVIDIA wouldn't recognize the AMD adapter, and I had to use a generic one. Coincidence?



    So yes: Both AMD and NVIDIA have been doing this for YEARS now, and its been known about since the beginning. Are you honestly telling me the Linux guys DIDN'T know about this?

  4. #34
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    This perfect reason to stay away from proprietary software and use the open source device drivers!

    Stay away from Windows, OS X and proprietary drivers.

    Use Linux with open source drivers!

    Then you get freedom instead of artificial restrictions!

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamerk2 View Post
    So yes: Both AMD and NVIDIA have been doing this for YEARS now, and its been known about since the beginning. Are you honestly telling me the Linux guys DIDN'T know about this?
    This actually goes back all the way - a little over a decade or so - to the proprietary and expensive component video dongles that both companies used with the same security measures.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zajec View Post
    Yes, many ATI cards don't have HDMI output, but have audio engine. For example my HD4850 has 2xDVI (no HDMI) and can send audio just fine.
    It's pretty odd. You'd think adding an HDMI port wouldn't have been that much of an issue. That or remove the audio engine to save some costs.

    Quote Originally Posted by gamerk2 View Post
    As for cards, I can say their 4000 series cards typically didn't offer HDMI outputs (my 4890 didn't), so I used this same exact configuration. And yes, you HAD to use an AMD adapter; Windows wouldn't recognize the audio interface if you didn't.
    That's pretty funny, because my Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 has one, and I have it plugged into a TV as we speak.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackout23 View Post
    What now AMD fanboys? Even RMS recommends NVIDIA hardware, because at least the nouveau driver is really open!

    http://stallman.org/to-4chan.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Stallman, 2013
    Regarding graphics accelerators for PCs, ATI mostly cooperates with the free software movement, while nVidia is totally hostile. ATI has released free drivers.

    However, the ATI drivers use nonfree microcode blobs, whereas most of nVidia's products (excepting the most recent ones) work ok with Nouveau, which is entirely free and has no blobs.

    Thus, paradoxically, if you want to be free you need to get a not-very-recent nVidia accelerator.

    I wish ATI would free this microcode, or put it in ROM, so that we could endorse its products and stop preferring the products of a company that is no friend of ours.
    This is not correct.

    Nouveau uses disassembled/reversed parts, which no one really understands deep.
    What Stallman calls "...is entirely free and has no blobs" is incorrect as nouveau injects blobs (chunks, "golden bits") that produce desirable effect, proven per reversing, yet not entirely understood as whole.
    This is exactly same as with AMD microcode.

    Basically, they do the same thing, yet AMD gets microcode parts officially. Thus chance to burn/destroy/get side effects for AMD opensource driver is much lower.
    Neither is "free and has no blobs" entirely.

    For truly free and no blobs chip, check the recent startup which has phoronix article.

  8. #38
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    The article is completely misleading. Nothing was crippled. I don't know exactly why AMD required their own special adapters to use HDMI over DVI ports for older asics, but I do know that a lot of cheap crappy video adapters don't work. I can't tell you the number of driver "bugs" I've dealt that were due to cheap DVI or DP adapters that were broken or missing pins.

  9. #39
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    Default Glad I have no HDCP content in the entire house

    Quote Originally Posted by entropy View Post
    I was thinking about that too.
    At least this would prevent the use of adapters which circumvent/drop HDCP encryption.
    Not that it is nice thing to do...
    Yet another reason to boycott Blu-Ray and Cable TV HD content, indeed to boycott ALLpaid media.
    Shit like this is also a reason not to buy any hardware that is HDMI dependant and doesn't work
    with other connectors. Analog sound, any monitor cable that fits on both ends, that's the drill!

    Using the open driver shuts this one down, but what's to keep Nvidia or Intel from learning from
    this and putting a similar restriction in firmware-even though open software does not generally support
    HDCP and other DRM schemes.

    Crapple has become notorious for putting similar restrictions on things like iPod cables, just so they
    can sell more cables. Only thing is, that makes then sell less players, as people burned once by Crapple's
    walled garden learn to buy competing hardware instead.

  10. #40
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    It is not clear from this article if AMD/ATI even had a choice in locking the audio out to a specific adapter. While VGA and DisplayPort are provided as royalty-free open standards, HDMI is a tightly controlled licensed standard. Not only does producing a product with HDMI require paying yearly royalty fees, but my understanding is part of the license allows the HDMI consortium to demand to be able to certify the products to verify they conform with the strict requirements of the specification. In theory, this allows the consortium to protect the HDMI brand by being able to revoke the license of any product which may cause damage or operate poorly with the other HDMI devices it is connected to. In practice, it is my belief that HDMI certification process may differ between companies that submit the product and that "politics" might come into play as part of the certification process. For example, AMD is one of the companies that assisted in the creation of the DisplayPort draft specifications which could be considered to be a competing standard. It would not surprise me if the HDMI consortium decided to lean on AMD a little harder than other companies which license the HDMI standard.

    So the big question I have is this: Did AMD initiate on their own having a specific DVI/HDMI adapter be verified by the driver or was it at the "recommendation" of the HDMI consortium to insure standards compliance (including voltage levels and other things which may differ between quality of adapters)?

    Given the HDMI consortium has attempted to claim passive DisplayPort to HDMI adapters to be "illegal,"[1] it is my opinion that HDMI could have also applied pressure on AMD. It is underhanded of AMD to put in such a restriction and then not disclose it anyplace in the product documentation. But the Phoronix article seems to imply that AMD put the restriction in by their own policy. I would like it if AMD was given a chance to respond to find out if any third parties had resulted in this policy of crippling. Does the title of the article fairly represent the situation if confirming a certified adapter was the only way AMD/ATI was permitted to ship the product as HDMI compliant?

    References:
    [1] http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388289,00.asp

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